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7 Behavior Management Tips For Every Parent

Children are not born good or evil, but they don’t know how to behave, either. Their instincts often conflict with the rules. And you need to teach them how to live within the rules and do what is best, years before they can understand the reasons why they need to do this. The solution is behavior management. You want to encourage good behavior and discourage bad behavior. Here are 7 behavior management tips for every parent. 

7 Behavior Management Tips For Every Parent

Have Clear Expectations 

Set clear expectations for your child. These expectations should be realistic. For example, you can require a toddler to pick up their toys at put them in the toy box at the end of the day but not to clean the kitchen. You can have simple lists and even checklists of what you expect the child to do. These rules can include saying please and thank you, cleaning up messes they make, and taking care of themselves. Have preschoolers learn that the bedtime routine consists of a bath, brushing their teeth, reading the bedtime story and going to bed. If they fight taking the bath or won’t brush their teeth, you might read one book at bedtime instead of two. For older children, use chore charts. Make sure they know what you expect them to do on a daily and weekly basis. 

According to this list of classroom management strategies, you should have a list of rules. In this case, you’re clearly spelling out the expectations. 

Have Incentives for Good Choices 

This matter is certainly open for debate. What do you reward, and what should they do as a matter of course? Self-care should be a given and punished if they don’t. For example, children shouldn’t be given a quarter because they brushed their teeth, washed their hands and went to bed on time. You should praise them for making the right choices and have consequences if they don’t. There are tasks they should do simply because they’re a member of the family. This includes getting themselves dressed once old enough, doing their homework, and doing household chores. You can give them incentives for doing extra work such as doing extra chores or going above and beyond to help other family members. For example, you might pay your teenagers for cleaning the pool or cutting the grass. After all, you didn’t have to pay someone else to do it. 

Have Consequences for Bad Choices 

You sometimes have to stick to your grounds and say no and give consequences for your child making bad choices. These should be age appropriate. Have a time out corner for toddlers and the loss of privileges for older children. They might not be allowed to watch a family movie, or they may not be allowed to attend an event. 

Don’t Be Afraid to Discipline 

You are not abusing your child if you put them in the corner for hitting you or their younger sibling. You are being a good parent. And you want your child to learn not to do these things, unless you want them to not have friends. Remember that bad behavior that is ignored will get worse, because they don’t learn that it is bad. This is why lecturing kids again and again is doomed to fail, while discipline will stop it in most cases. Know that excuses will make things worse. And it means your kid will learn hard consequences later in life. It may take the form of being unable to pay the rent because they can’t keep a job or going to prison because they can’t control hold back their fists when someone else tells them no. 

Offer Reasonable Praise 

Praise your kids for their effort, their hard work and going above and beyond. Don’t give them so much praise that it seems like they are praised for just breathing. 

Give Tangible Rewards 

You could give your children small toys as good kid rewards, if they’ve completed everything on the chore chart this week. You can pay older children a commission. This is not an allowance. That’s paid on a weekly basis by default. A commission is based on what work they do. They’ll learn to associate work with money. As a side benefit, they will learn that your money is a result of your work and not an endlessly renewable resource. 

Make Them Earn It 

Have your kids save up the money for that new gaming console or fun outing. If they have to earn the money to enjoy it, they’ll want to make good choices so they can earn it. You can cover the sales tax or five dollars in gas if they don’t quite make it. Alternatively, you can have big rewards for major accomplishments. Going out to pizza after winning a school award used to fall into this category.

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